RSS has made it so easier to access information you are interested in that it seems to me the best invention of the century. RSS was invented to help you keep track of the content on different sites and blogs, to make it easy for you to manage your read and unread feeds and while doing so, make sure that you stay productive. But with hundreds of feeds in hand, RSS seems to cause more trouble than making the subscriber’s job easier for him.
Imagine this nightmare: You get past the number of feeds you could actually manage reading, that’s how a prolific subscriber gets overwhelmed. That’s how misuse of productive RSS tools leaves the user frustrated and demotivated.
Here are some useful tips that may prove to be of great help in effective RSS management.
Tip#1: Use an online RSS reader like Google Reader
Why Google Reader? Why not any other feed reading tool? It’s because Google reader is more user friendly than others of its kind.
Tip#2: Use keyboard shortcuts
You want to go through all the feeds in as much less time as possible, if that’s true then keyboard shortcuts would surely make a lot of difference. Neither would you need to toggle between mouse and keyboard while reading your feeds nor would the time be wasted in that.
Tip#3: Make a “Favorites” folder
Google Reader allows its users to create as many folders as they like. Using this feature to your advantage, you can create folders like “Favorites” folder and “News” folder. This will really help you finding the relevant feeds at the right time and will save you the trouble of going through the irrelevant stuff in the process of searching. “Favorites” folder could be used to house the blogs that you want to read every day while “News” folder could be filled with blogs like Dawn’s blog. A separate folder for news when a “favorites” folder is already there is required to coup with the problem that news blogs produce 100s of posts every day.
Tip#4: Set a time frame for your RSS feeds
Since we are talking about effective RSS management, we can’t ignore the fact that one of the main reasons we end up frustrated and unproductive, whatever we are dealing with, is bad time management. Reading feeds is really going to help you keep yourself updated about what’s happening in the world and much more than that but that doesn’t mean that you start compromising your more important things for feed reading. So, set aside some time for it and do not let yourself get addicted to it.
Tip#5: Hit “all as read” button when required
Imagine the situation: You come back from a vacation to find that your RSS reader’s overloaded. Instead of wasting your time figuring out what you have missed while you were out and trying to catch up with everything, mark all the posts in your RSS reader as read.
Then how would you catch up with all what you have missed? It must be the least of your worries now. Remember what they say about the web: “The advent of web has made the world a global village”; that information’s going to find its way to you one way or the other.
Tip#6: Use Search feature
It’s very likely that your curiosity will not let you go and before you mark all the unread posts as read, you will like to get familiar with the latest happenings in the blogs of your interest. Google reader has got some very interesting search features that will help you search through those feeds some specific terms and keywords, allowing you to have a hint of the what’s really missed and what’s not.
Tip#7: Create a folder named as “Unread”
There might be some posts you would like to read some time later. Again, creating a folder named “Unread” and using it to keep such posts until the time-set-aside-for-them comes, is really going to help.
Same kind of feeds folder could be created to save yourself some feeds for the weekend.
Tip#8: Follow the “trends” and analyze once in a while
Through time, you will lose interest in some of the feeds you subscribed to earlier. That’s not uncommon; interests and priorities change through time but effective management of your feed reading habits would require you to get rid of the feeds you are no more interested in. Google Reader’s “trend” feature is there to help you make such an analysis once in a while and manage your RSS overload.